A Company President, Mom & Wife Talks About Work/Life Balance

Posted on July 17, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to spend a day with the President of Cardinal Pack, Julie. She not only runs a successful company that’s been around since 1979, but has been married for 20+ years, and raised 3 boys- while making it look easy…I HAD to talk to her again!

working mom guilt | work life balance

Me: You seem to be the epitomy of the work/life balance. How do you make it all look so easy?

Julie: You have to have an understanding spouse who has the same goals.

My husband worked early so I got the kids off to school in the morning, then he would be there when they got home. When I got home, the kids did homework while I cooked dinner. Then I cleaned up the kitchen while my husband got the kids washed up, and then we would read together or watch tv for a little bit before they went to bed. I always tried to make the time I had with them be true quality time, not distracted by work. Sometimes, if needed, I would go into the office on a weekend, but I really made a point to not bring work home.

When they got older and sports interfered with family dinner, we knew 3 nights in a row of eating hot dogs was fine as long as we were together as a family. Then we just ate extra healthy the rest of the week.

Me: How has being a mom helped you be a better manager, or vice versa?

Julie: With both employees and children, you need to set the guidelines and give them the best tools you can to help them succeed on their own. When my kids were little, we put the dishes and cups in lower cabinets instead of the pots and pans like most people do. This was just one thing that taught my kids to be indepent at a young age. 

You’re not always going to be able to manage people who are as ambitious as you are. You have to let them know that they can either do their best, or be the best. Then you have to learn to accept their decision. Not every sales person, much less employee, wants to work extra hours and go that extra mile to work their way to the top, and you really have to learn to be ok with that. As long as you can depend on them at clutch times, you have to respect their priorities in life too.

Me: Did you have ‘perpetual guilt’ when your boys were younger? How did you deal with it?

JulieI stayed home for about a year when the boys were younger and it made me realize that I’m not the best teacher or daycare provider for them. That should be left up to the professionals.

Me: Did you ever encounter any ‘ole boys club’ or other difficulties you felt were brought on because you are a woman in the work place?

JulieI’ve been the only woman on multiple boards, but have been fortunate enough to never experience any discrimination for being a woman. When people try to get in your way, it’s usually because they’re jealous of you. Tell them that they can either work with you or against you, but either way, you’re going somewhere.

Learn anything from Julie? Make sure to share it with the working mom’s in your life!

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